The Battleship had multiple bands during her service. The middle one, Band #35, was formed from graduates of the Navy School of Music in April 1943 and reported to BB55 in July. The men were assigned to Damage Control (R Division).
“Most of the band members stood phone watches anywhere throughout the ship. We did have more free time than other shipmates. My battle station was in the half deck. There were three of us guys up there. Sometimes we managed to nap on the officers’ fat mattresses.”
Raymond Lundquist, Musician 3/c
“Not all the ships had bands, just the big ones. When we would be at anchor in a port like Pearl Harbor, the band played a lot of outside engagements. We played at Marine air bases carved out of the jungle and at radio stations aboard small carriers. The sailors liked to hear real live Navy bands. We had a good one.
On board the ship, the band would select two or three men to play for church services every Sunday. Many times a small combo might play for evening dinner in the officers’ wardroom. [When anchored] we would play on the fantail before the night movies for the crew. We also played two or three funerals aboard ship. That is not a fun job. We played what the guys wanted to hear. They didn’t want to hear marches. They wanted to hear a dance band. We had a very good dance band.”
Donald Wickham, Musician 2/c
“It is requested that this command be furnished with replacements for three members of Unit Band #35 who have been transferred for assignment…. [Request for] tuba (double on string base), baritone, trombone, and clarinet.”
J.W. Stryker, Executive Officer, May 19, 1944
“On March 21, 1944, our band had an opportunity to go ashore and play for a show on the island (Majuro). We got to see what the place looked like and it was the first time on solid ground since leaving Efate on January 18. It was very nice playing for all those marines. The band played out of doors, under the coconut trees and it was a very nice experience. We were driven on a tour of the island and could see old buildings, built and abandoned by the Japanese.”
Lloyd Glick, Musician 1/c
Lloyd Glick describes the duties of the musicians on the Battleship.